Tanner Smith ran for six touchdowns while Verdigris scored on its first eight possessions, powering the No. 3 Cardinals to a 50-7 victory over Morris in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs Friday night at Cardinal Stadium.
Smith gained 149 yards and senior fullback J.D. Hanslovan added 134 yards as Verdigris improved to 10-1.
Morris departed with a season-ending 4-7 record.
With a strong wind facing them in the first half, the Eagles experienced extreme punting woes and gave the Cardinals excellent field position throughout.
Following David Doshier’s interception and 27-yard return to the Eagles’ 3-yard line, Smith scored on the next play and the Cardinals led 7-0 just 50 seconds into the game.
Verdigris started the next five first-half series at the Morris 26, 34, 44, 44 and 33. The Eagles recorded punts of 10, 9 and 14 yards into the stiff breeze and finished the half with 31 total offensive yards.
Following the 10-yard punt to the 26, Hanslovan scored on the second play, a 25-yard trek around left end. The 9-yard boot put the Cards at the Morris 34 and Smith made it 20-0 with a bullish 2-yard touchdown run.
The 14-yard kick carried to the Eagles’ 44 and Smith covered the final 3 yards for a 27-0 lead early in the second quarter.
On the ensuring kickoff, the ball hit Morris’ Dalton Stacy in the back and the Cardinals recovered at the Eagles’ 44-yard line.
Four plays were required to score and once again, Smith did the honors with a 32-yard touchdown run.
On the second play after the kickoff, Morris quarterback B.J. Guynes fumbled at the Eagles’ 33-yard line. Three plays later, Smith bucked over from the 1-yard line for a 40-0 lead.
Verdigris closed the half with a drive from its own 21-yard line to get Hanslovan’s 25-yard field goal with no time remaining.
The Cardinals began the second half by moving 54 yards in 3 plays and scored on Smith’s 17-yard touchdown around left end.
With reserves in the game defensively for Verdigris, the Eagles marched 86 yards in 8 plays to record their only score, coming on Guynes’ 25-yard strike to Ryan Smith on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals finished with 372 rushing yards and 413 total.
Morris was limited to 167 offensive yards.